Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sands of Empire

Congressional Quarterly editor and political journalist Robert Merry is set to release a new book titled "Sands of Empire: Missionary Zeal, American Foreign Policy, and the Hazards of Global Ambition." As Bob Novak points out, this book should provide ammo for the,

...increasing numbers of conservatives deeply concerned by U.S. military intervention in Iraq. They voted for and admire President Bush, but were profoundly disturbed by his second inaugural address pledging to spread democracy worldwide.... This is no anti-Bush political screed seeking Democratic gain and Republican loss in Iraq's casualty lists. Merry over the years has been an objective journalist but considers himself a conservative and is said by friends to be a Republican who voted for Bush. What worries Merry is that Bush mixes the moralism of Woodrow Wilson and the exceptionalism of Theodore Roosevelt to produce fatal U.S. global ambitions.
It is not surprising that many Republicans are beginning to question the Iraq war specifically and the GWOT generally. Conservatives have traditionally placed themselves in the 'realist' camp of foreign policy, a camp home to Kissinger, Nixon and Bush I more so than to the current President. Indeed, the aggressive push for democracy around the world for the sake of ideals and not for the sake of American security is what many realists have found troubling. According to reviews and public relations material, Merry rejects this shift in U.S. policy as unrealistic and potentially disastrous. The argument between cyclical history and progressive history remains at the center of the debate among policy experts and historians around the world. "Sands of Empire" stands as an emphatic vote for the growing number of Republican realists opposed to the Bush doctrine.

From the book jacket:

From the first president Bush to Clinton to the second Bush presidency, the United States has compromised its global leadership, endangered its security, and failed to meet the standard of justified intervention, Merry suggests. The country must reset its global strategies to protect its interests and the West's, to maintain stability in strategic areas, and to fight radical threats, with arms if necessary. For anything less than these necessities, American blood should remain in American veins.

As Exit145 has not yet received an advanced copy of "Sands of Empire" from the publisher (lost in the mail??), we will hold off on providing a full, potentially scathing, analysis of the book just yet. However, the highlighted sentences above do not go along way to convince this observer of anything. How are our 'interests and the the West's' defined? What qualifies as a strategic area? When is it 'necessary' to take up arms? And is there a formula to determine when 'American blood should remain in American veins'? Expect a review, or at least an answer to the questions posed here, soon after "Sands" drops.



Blogger Horatio said...

Nice blog, fellas. I'll be checking in on you guys from time to time.

4:51 PM  

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